Hutchings' California Magazine

From Islapedia

Hutchings’ Illustrated California Magazine was published by James M. Hutchings from 1856 to 1861 with articles about California. Hutchings was an Englishman who went to California in 1849. After some time in the mines, he made more money by writing "The Miner's Ten Commandments" and issuing it as a single-page letter sheet on souvenir stationery.

Hutchings California Magazine

  • 1856. Narrative of a Woman who was eighteen years alone on the island of San Nicolas. Hutchings’ Illustrated California Magazine 1(5):209-211, November, 1856

  • 1857. The Indian Woman of San Nicholas Hutchings’ Illustrated California Magazine 1(8):347-348, February, 1857

“The Indian Woman of San Nicholas [sic]. Our readers will remember that in the November number of the Magazine we were favored by Capt. C. J. W. Russell, with the narrative of a woman who was eighteen years alone, on the Island of San Nicholas. Since the publication of that sketch, Captain R. has paid a visit to Santa Barbara, and by Mr. George Nedever [sic], the gentleman who discovered her, was presented with a water bottle made of grass, and a stone mortar, necklace and other things that were made by her during her long and solitary residence. The water bottle explains its own use. The mortar was used for pounding the abalone, the Haliotis of naturalists, and which was one of the principal articles of food among the Indians, and by whom they were dried for winter use, and afterwards pounded in a mortar before eating. At the present time there are no less than twelve schooners and sloops chartered by Chinamen; besides several hundred of Chinese laborers engaged in this business, as they are an important article of consumption to Chinamen in California, in addition to the vast quantities exported by them to their native land. In flavor these are said to be fully equal to the oyster, especially in soup, and could be introduced advantageously for our own use, and we would suggest to epicures here, to give this dish of ‘John’s’ a trial, for it may be possible that although we might not relish cooked rats, the abalone may be one of the greatest of delicacies to our own people…” The necklace made by this ingenious woman, was of slate, and although rude, it was prized by her as a great ornament, even though no one was near to admire or praise her. There is upon this island a good sized cave in which she took up her abode, and on the walls of which she kept a rude record of all the vessels that had passed the island, and of all the most remarkable occurrences in her lonely history, such as seeing large quantities of seals, hailing of vessels in the distance, etc. By her signs she represented herself as once being very sick, and had to crawl upon her hands and knees from the cave to some water. During her sickness at Mr. Nedever’s [sic] although she suffered much, she never complained, and made them understand that she should like to die, for then she should meet her child in the spirit land. We append the following interesting extract from the Santa Barbara Gazette. “All that was known of this remarkable woman, and all of her history while living upon this island, she was able to impart by signs and gestures, (she had lost the knowledge of language), and the manner of her discovery and deliverance, her arrival here and death that soon followed, has before been published. While living she was an object of lively interest to some and curiosity to others…” [The Indian Woman of San Nicholas, [sic], (Illustrated) p. 347-348]